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Album Review

Jazz supergroup One for All delivers another solid mix of straight-ahead standards and originals on its fourth Criss Cross release, Wide Horizons. Although never a group to stray too far from its original concept of a modern Art Blakey-style ensemble, One for All's musicians nonetheless have displayed a steady growth in individuality. Trumpeter Jim Rotondi's fat, burnished tone and solid harmonic concept are delicious to the ears, and it seems that every year tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander transmutes even further in his mitotic process toward becoming the most finely developed jazz musician on the planet. While past albums have focused on mid- to late-'50s-styled jazz, Wide Horizons has an early-'60s imprint. Pianist David Hazeltine, often compared to Cedar Walton, showcases his varied abilities on Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes," while trombonist Steve Davis' title track is meant to call to mind the work of Freddie Hubbard. These guys may not be pushing the avant-garde envelope, but when straight-ahead modern jazz sounds this good, who cares?


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Hearkening back to the classic '60s Blue Note-style jazz sextets popularized by drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, One for All is one of the foremost mainstream jazz ensembles to come out of the '90s. A super-group of straight-ahead jazz names, the group technically formed in 1997 for a gig at the storied New York City club Small's in Greenwich Village. However, the seeds of the group go back to 1988, when the then up-and-coming young lions trumpeter Jim Rotondi, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander,...
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